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Stalin and the scientists: A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905–1953

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Pub. Date:
2017.
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English
Description
Scientists throughout history, from Galileo to today's experts on climate change, have often had to contend with politics in their pursuit of knowledge. But in the Soviet Union, where the ruling elites embraced, patronized, and even fetishized science like never before, scientists lived their lives on a knife edge. The Soviet Union had the best-funded scientific establishment in history. Scientists were elevated as popular heroes and lavished with awards and privileges. But if their ideas or their field of study lost favor with the elites, they could be exiled, imprisoned, or murdered. And yet they persisted, making major contributions to 20th century science. Stalin and the Scientists tells the story of the many gifted scientists who worked in Russia from the years leading up to the Revolution through the death of the "Great Scientist" himself, Joseph Stalin. It weaves together the stories of scientists, politicians, and ideologues into an intimate and sometimes horrifying portrait of a state determined to remake the world. They often wreaked great harm. Stalin was himself an amateur botanist, and by falling under the sway of dangerous charlatans like Trofim Lysenko (who denied the existence of genes), and by relying on antiquated ideas of biology, he not only destroyed the lives of hundreds of brilliant scientists, he caused the death of millions through famine. But from atomic physics to management theory, and from radiation biology to neuroscience and psychology, these Soviet experts also made breakthroughs that forever changed agriculture, education, and medicine. A masterful book that deepens our understanding of Russian history, Stalin and the Scientists is a great achievement of research and storytelling, and a gripping look at what happens when science falls prey to politics.
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9780802125989
9780802189868
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 84b61656-a0f6-8c25-ad96-f4dd4d6337ab
Grouping Title stalin and the scientists a history of triumph and tragedy 1905 1953
Grouping Author ings simon
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-11-21 22:45:30PM
Last Indexed 2019-11-21 19:33:46PM

Solr Details

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"One of the finest, most gripping surveys of the history of Russian science in the twentieth century" (Douglas Smith, author of Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy).

Stalin and the Scientists tells the story of the many gifted scientists who worked in Russia from the years leading up to the Revolution through the death of the "Great Scientist" himself, Joseph Stalin. It weaves together the stories of scientists, politicians, and ideologues into an intimate and sometimes horrifying portrait of a state determined to remake the world. They often wreaked great harm. Stalin was himself an amateur botanist, and by falling under the sway of dangerous charlatans like Trofim Lysenko (who denied the existence of genes), and by relying on antiquated ideas of biology, he not only destroyed the lives of hundreds of brilliant scientists, he caused the death of millions through famine.

But from atomic physics to management theory, and from radiation biology to neuroscience and psychology, these Soviet experts also made breakthroughs that forever changed agriculture, education, and medicine. A masterful book that deepens our understanding of Russian history, Stalin and the Scientists is a great achievement of research and storytelling, and a gripping look at what happens when science falls prey to politics.

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction in 2016

A New York Times Book Review "Paperback Row" selection

"Ings's research is impressive and his exposition of the science is lucid . . . Filled with priceless nuggets and a cast of frauds, crackpots and tyrants, this is a lively and interesting book, and utterly relevant today." —The New York Times Book Review

"A must read for understanding how the ideas of scientific knowledge and technology were distorted and subverted for decades across the Soviet Union." —The Washington Post

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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000503242 Book Books First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition. English Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017. xix, 508 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet Biographies
Science -- Soviet Union -- History
Science and state -- Soviet Union
Scientists -- Soviet Union -- Biography
Stalin, Joseph, -- 1878-1953 -- Influence
title_display Stalin and the scientists : a history of triumph and tragedy 1905-1953
title_full Stalin and the Scientists A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905–1953
Stalin and the scientists : a history of triumph and tragedy 1905-1953 / Simon Ings
title_short Stalin and the scientists :
title_sub A History of Triumph and Tragedy, 1905–1953
topic_facet History
Influence
Nonfiction
Politics
Science
Science and state
Scientists
Stalin, Joseph